Roni's Journal

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Hélène Grimaud cancels concert because of piano pedal

Mostlyopera quotes:

Because of a controversy over the middle pedal of a piano the pianist Hélène Grimaud called off a gala concert with the Staatskapelle Dresden briefly before the beginning in Prague on Saturday. The 37-old pianist surprisingly required the organizers of the festival “Prager herbst” on Saturday to adjust the middle pedal. "Since the piano belongs to the Czech Philharmonic Concert Hall, the Festival Management does not have mandate to make such a change", said Festival executive Pavel Spiroch. Helene Grimaud, who is considered to be one of the best pianists in the world, thereupon canceled the appearance. On the program was piano concert No. 5 by Ludwig van Beethoven. Many of the visitors, having traveled a long way to attend this performance expressed both disappointment and anger, when they were informed of the cancellation before the locked doors of the Concert Hall, claiming the whole incident to be a farce. "The piano is one of the best in Prague", said Philharmonic Concert Hall leader Vaclav Riedlbauch. The Staatskapelle Dresden did not want to offer only half a concert to the public and therefore the entire concert was canceled.

Professional pianists use the middle pedal a lot, especially in fast piano passages.

But this particular cancellation may indicate that something deeper was going on between Hélène Grimaud and the management. The pedal was just one of the better reasons that the public might accept better.

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